In January 2000, civic leaders in Charlotte, North Carolina, invited their favorite son, Billy Graham, to a luncheon in his honor. Billy initially hesitated to accept the invitation because he struggles with Parkinson’s disease. But the Charlotte leaders insisted, ‘We don’t expect a major address. Just come and let us honor you.’ So the evangelist agreed.
After many wonderful things were said about him, Dr. Graham stepped to the rostrum, looked at the crowd, and said, ‘I’m reminded today of Albert Einstein, the great physicist who this month has been honored by Time magazine as the ‘Man of the Century.’
Dr Graham related an incident where Einstein was once traveling from Princeton on a train, and the conductor came down the aisle, punching passenger tickets. When he came to Einstein, the physicist reached into his vest pocket, but he couldn’t find his ticket. Then he reached into his trouser pockets, it wasn’t there either. So he looked in his briefcase but he still couldn’t locate it.
The conductor said, ‘Dr. Einstein, I know who you are. We all know who you are. I’m sure you bought a ticket. Don’t worry about it.‘ Einstein nodded appreciatively, and the conductor continued down the aisle punching tickets. As he was ready to move to the next car, he turned around and saw the great scientist down on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket. The conductor rushed back and said, ‘Dr. Einstein don’t worry, you don’t need a ticket. I know who you are. I’m sure you bought one. No problem.’ Einstein looked at him and said, ‘Young man, I too, know who I am. What I don’t know is where I am going …’
Having said that Billy Graham continued, ‘See this suit I’m wearing? It’s a brand-new suit. My children and grandchildren have told me that I’ve gotten a little slovenly in my old age. I used to be more fastidious. So, I went out and bought a new suit for this luncheon—and one more occasion.
This is the suit in which I’ll be buried. But when you hear that I’m dead, I don’t want you to think about this suit. I want you to remember this: I not only know who I am—I know where I am going.’
We are set apart from the world by a Savior Who came down from heaven, and for a time, was made lower than the angels. The members of Christ the King Church confess our great need for salvation from sin and death, freely promised and available by the Gift of divine mercy through faith and not by our own efforts. Our members own a faith based on eyewitness testimony that Jesus suffered and died to remove our sin debt, satisfying the fixed demands of a just God.
Now because we know Who Christ Jesus is and what He accomplished on our behalf, the believers of Christ the King are now made acceptable, and welcome by Almighty God—and can be absolutely certain of who we are—Who we belong to—and where we are going forever!
Mark Gade, for CtK e-newsletter